Packing a ‘Punch’!

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Want to do away with those scars for good? Punch Grafting is a technique to try, says a Bengaluru-based dermatologist.

Picture of Alicia Keys used for representational purposes only.

 Picture of Alicia Keys used for representational purposes only.

Whether you are a working professional or an adolescent, stubborn scars on the face can be daunting indeed. While creams and makeup fixes may offer immediate cover-up solutions, it is always a better idea to settle for a long lasting, non-superficial alternative and that’s where punch grafting, a surgical procedure, seems like an option worth considering.

Pegged as a revolutionary treatment for ‘ice-pick’ scars, the technique to go about it is as follows: the punch is done using a disposable tool that looks like cookie cutter. The size of the scar is measured and it is matched to the tool size. A local anesthetic is given where the scar exists and then it is removed with a small punch. Mostly, the skin is left alone to heal on its own after the punch as it’s a very small hole. If larger, then a suture might be required. Simply put, punch grafting is a punch biopsy technique that has been used by dermatologists for many years to take a biopsy of the skin for studies and testing.

In this procedure, the depth and the diameter can be controlled from 1.5 – 4 mm, which makes it ideal for deep scars like ‘ice-pick’ scars which are normally at a depth of 2 to 3.5 mm.

The whole process takes less than 15 minutes and is very affordable for patients who can’t afford lasers.

Since the procedure requires the precision and expertise of an experienced hand; it is suggested to consult and get this done by a seasoned skin expert. It roughly takes about a week to heal, and one must follow a skin care regimen to maintain one’s skin. It is of optimum importance to consult your dermatologist before going in for the procedure. There might be a case of excessive bleeding or infection, if done without proper background checks or a detailed study of your skin type and it’s triggers are overlooked. The advantages are smoother skin with minimal downtime and affordability. Simply put, it is the poor man’s scar therapy today.

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